Tag Archives: batik

playing with dolls

Dressing a doll can be a good place to gather ideas about garments.  The blue batik ‘shirt’, here, works off of the garment-as-a-series-of-rectangles idea (recently explored in Jude Hill‘s Boro class).  I learned that just by folding the ‘sleeve’ rectangle base in as a triangle, you achieve a class sleeve outline… simple, I know, but it is different to read, study, than to tuck, finger press, and stitch! (That’s Athena by the way, and I think I will give her a weapon or two).

This dreamer wears a fun assortment of charms, including a pewter, retro airplane.  I love that plane.  But, really? It’s her pigtails that make me smile. They are tied up with plastic-coated telephone wire. Remember hunting for remnants of that as a kid and making bracelets and rings?!  If she had arms, I’d give her a typewriter, just to keep the retro business going.  The blue floral linen was a dress, probably from the 60’s.


Here the garment idea is the basic triangle-shawl.  It is hard to get more simple than that!  This pristine doily came out of my vintage linens drawer.

Now the next doll is naked.

Every once in awhile, batik offers its swirls to the imagination in a very particular way.  Years ago, I saw a penis in the swirls of a yellow batik, and gave a two fiber-collaged primitive-styled men well endowed figures (here’s one below – not a great picture, but you get the idea).

On the new green female, however, the swirls suggested breasts… and as I wrapped red thread around the waist, it wanted to go up and circle one of the breasts, which turned into a meditation on mastectomy, which a good friend of mine’s sister had had just days prior (did you know that this is a seven hour operation?!!)

This started as the idea that playing with dolls can help one learn about garment construction, and turned into something quite else.

fractal piecing

Middle Passage II

This is the second of two pieces about the slave trade.  A few posts back, I suggested that landing on a theme or subject for a bunch of scraps of fabric can be an organizing boon.  Well, it wasn’t enough in this case to see the quilt (or series of quilts) to their conclusion.

One of my students (thank you, L!!) last week said, “you can always go back to looking at just the patterns.”  That was one of the comments that got me to work on the edge of “Passage I” as repetitive patchwork (yesterday’s post).  I am doing more of the same now with the second piece, and consciously employing fractals, which are a big part of African design (a much earlier post).  Not to be too cute, but that means, in this case, I am attending to BOTH my theme and to pattern.  The outlined rectangles reveal two differently scaled similar structures (i.e. fractals).

green/white linen looks like a sail

The citrus-green leaf linen has been employed primarily as sky/background.  When I saw it paired with fish prints and the deep blue tie-dye in the smaller of the two outlined rectangles, it had all the appearance of a sail.  So, I repeated it, larger, and intend to position it along the lower edge, where that oblong green print is currently standing in as the slave ship (all those little strike marks representing bodies).

On a lighter note, below, scraps from the piecing table.  How simple and sweet a few pieces of fabric can be together!  A hosta stalk stabilizes a chunk of wool sweater (not felted).

Off to grocery store – a run that’s been delayed for a least four days, now.  But D is home sick, and that means chicken soup is in order!

attending to the edges

I’ll admit that a big part of my goal with this quilt is to re-examine my construction methods and to keep asking – does this make sense?  Does that make sense?  And, does it make sense relative to the time that it’s taking?

Over the weekend, checking in with myself during a quiet post-bath rest (one of the most civilized practices that I can recommend), I got that if I attended to the edges of this quilt, it would facilitate the rest.

So, yesterday, in spite of three appointments, necessary emails, and then the usual Monday stuff, I managed to build the lower edge by patchworking a series of (nearly) matching 5×5 inch squares (roughly).

And, thank you St. Francis!!! – I found my two seam rippers, so I can fix an overly emphasized horizontal line in the body of the quilt (only two appointments today).

The bottom edge will also be ripped at one seam because I don’t want to switch two of the blocks.  Instead, I will line them up, all oriented the same way.

itty-bitty-bits

 

a border takes shape… this is for a “quick” happy quilt for D., whose eight month adventure with two broken bones (actually four, because it was the ulna and radius, twice), too many casts and x-rays to count, one night in the hospital, and two surgeries, came to a close a week ago with the removal of the pins.

and now, the big questions is:  to skateboard again, or not?

the doc said, “all I can tell you is, we see a lot of repeat customers around here.”

spring light

The spring light flooded our family room late this afternoon.  I don’t remember it ever being lit up like this before.  By the time I got my camera out, it was the shadows that interested me, so I haven’t captured the golden warm moment at all, really.  I share the photo of our kitchen TV and dinner clutter only because it DOES capture the light a bit better.

When I look at this picture and I don’t think, “Gee, cool, there I am in the reflection.”  No, I think, “Why was that light on?!”

Soon, our neighbor’s 200 year old copper beech will leaf out, and the light will be dappled and less intense (and that’s nice too).

With the poppy pillow commission finished, I can finally get back to my big-big quilt.

Recycled shirts and tiny pieces of Most Favored Fabrics (like a trading status!) are turning into huts and villages, here and there.


I took so much time to piece these big sections, that it would be a shame if I hid all the evidence of that work (i.e., the SEAMS), but that is the temptation right now…

That blue spade fabric (a roof of rain?) is cotton that K. brought back from India last month.  It was hard to cut, because it was such soft cotton, but cut I did. It is one of many fabrics that translates into “RAIN” in this piece.